From Maddy Ryen:
The Hunt family's three goats are basically my favorite part of Barnyard Theatre, so tonight I'm filled with joy, because they're back! Technically, they were never gone, but for the past week when we've been rehearsing out at the barn, they were outside in mowing down the weeds in the enclosure behind the barn, so we didn't get to see them much. Now, though, they are back in their pen in the barn itself, where we can interact much more.
The goats are an integral part of the artistic process at Barnyard Theatre. They are part of the show from the beginning, and are our best source of feedback about the quality of the work we're creating. When a scene is going well, when the emotions are ringing true and the actors are hitting all their marks, the goats will be standing up on the railing watching in rapt silence. If the energy starts to lag or the scene goes awry, you'll start to hear more "Maaaa"s and other noises from the enclosure. And if we've just made horrible choices and it all needs to change... well, the goats have been known to just start headbutting each other or eating parts of the barn. We value their input, and we'd never disagree with them.
In addition to the goats, we also got back a curly-haired boy tonight! Steven Schmidt, the director of "Psyche," had to miss most of last week's rehearsals because he was in tech week at B Street Theatre in Sacramento. As the associate director, I took over our rehearsals, which mainly consisted of blocking out the show (figuring out where the actors go and what they do at any point in the scene). I ended up with plenty of places in my script marked "Steven will know what to do here" or "Steven can make this moment awesome," so it's a relief to have him back with his expertise, vision, and enthusiasm for the play. He's not quite as important to have around as the goats (seriously, they're amazing, be sure to say hi to them when you come see the show), but he's a close second.
Maddy Ryen is Associate Director for Psyche, and is performing in the role of Sarah in Dammed.